What People Want To Hear In The Debate

John McCain and Barack Obama debate Tuesday at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. People from Iowa City, Concord, N.H., Birmingham, Ala., and Los Angeles talk about what they want to hear from the candidates.


From NPR News, this is All Things Considered. I'm Melissa Block.


And I'm Robert Siegel. This evening, another chance to tune in for a presidential debate. It's the second of three meetings between John McCain and Barack Obama. And voters, guided by NBC's Tom Brokaw, will pose the questions. The topics will likely mirror what's on the minds of Americans around the country today.

Unidentified Man #1: The war is my first priority. I was sent over to Iraq right now.

Unidentified Man #2: The economy...

Unidentified Man #3: Health care...

Unidentified Woman: I want to hear how we're going to get out of this economic mess.

BLOCK: The debate at Belmont University in Nashville is the only town hall-style meeting. Here are some voters' expectations sampled from around the country.

Dr. CHUCK HAUGHTRY(ph) (Retired Physician, University of Iowa Hospitals): My name is Chuck Haughtry. I'm a retired physician at University Hospitals in Iowa City, Iowa. I'm anxious to hear tonight about health care in the future.

Mr. BILL LEAKS(ph) (Database Administrator, Newbury, New Hampshire): My name is Bill Leaks, and I live in Newbury, New Hampshire. I'm a database administrator for the state. I'd like to hear more about Medicare, Medicaid, that that kind of thing as far as what we can expect for them from each side.

Ms. JENNY FALKLER(ph) (Librarian, Suffolk Community College): My name is Jenny Falkler. I'm a librarian at Suffolk Community College, and I would like to hear specifically tonight what sort of ways we can improve benefits for veterans like post traumatic stress disorder.

Ms. MELIYAM REE(ph) (Student, University of Iowa): My name is Meliyam Ree. I'm a student at the University of Iowa, and I would like to hear what Barack Obama has to say about the war in Iraq, what his strategy is resolving that.

Ms. DOTTY REILLY(ph): Dotty Reilly from Warner, New Hampshire. I'm hoping that they'll just answer a few of the questions.

SIEGEL: Voters from Iowa City; from Long Island in New York; Concord, New Hampshire; Birmingham, Alabama; and Los Angeles.

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